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O2: Alexandre Aja heads to Netflix for survival thriller

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Alexandre Aja is heading to Netflix for new survival thriller O2.

The Piranha 3D and The Hills Have Eyes director broke out on to the international stage with Switchblade Romance in 2003, and has since gone on to helm a number of US horror flicks. Now, he’s heading back to French-language filmmaking for the first time in 15 years with this new Netflix project.

Melanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds) will lead the cast, joined by Mathieu Amalric (The French Dispatch) and Malik Zidi (Play). Laurent, who previously appeared in Netflix’s 6 Underground, will play a young woman who wakes up in a medical cry unit with no memory of who she is. As she runs out of oxygen, she must work out how she got into the coffin-sized box and find a way out of her nightmare.

The film is written by Christie LeBlanc and was previously on the Black List of unproduced screenplays.

As well as Aja’s return to French cinema, it also marks the first big title from Getaway Films, a new company set up by Wild Bunch co-founder Vincent Maraval.

“After a period spent in lockdown, a project which in its core explores confinement and claustrophobia was a no-brainer, almost a necessity. I am very enthusiastic to collaborate with Wild Bunch and Melanie Laurent and to begin a beautiful creative adventure with Netflix,” Aja, who will produce the project alongside his long-term associate Gregory Levasseur, said in a statement.

“With thanks to Netflix, we are delighted to be able to bring Alexandre Aja back to France,” commented Maraval. “We worked with him on Piranha 3D and are excited to collaborate again on O2: an ambitious film in a genre that French cinema is not often exploring.”

David Kosse, vice president, and Gaëlle Mareschi, creative manager, international original film at Netflix, also added: “We are extremely excited to be working with French cult director Alexandre Aja, surrounded by a fantastic French cast led by Melanie Laurent, and brought to us by Vincent Maraval. With O2, Aja is taking us on a thrilling and unexpected ride physically but also emotionally, bringing his imagination to another level.”

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